Historic Nelson County property up for auction
06 Jun, 2019 - Tranzon Fox
By Erin Conway
Over 400 acres of land in Nelson County will be up for auction starting at the end of June.
Union Hill Farm, located near the James River in the Norwood-Wingina area, is headed to the auction block according to Tranzon, LLC a nation-wide real estate auction company.
“It’s a beautiful place and a great opportunity for someone,” Linda Terry, media relations spokesperson for Tranzon, said.
Union Hill has a rich history, going back to Native American and early colonial life.
According to “Nelson County, Virginia Heritage (1807-2000)”, Dr. William Cabell deeded part of the land granted to him in 1738 to his son, Colonel William Cabell. Colonel Cabell began to construct Union Hill in 1775 where an old Tuscarora Indian town once stood. Construction was completed four years later.
"As the Revolution cut off supplies, the house was built primarily with materials from the place,” according to the book.
The house was named “Union Hill” due to the importance of the union of colonies to the Patriots during the war. The house stayed in the Cabell family until 1969 when it was purchased by Bass Construction Company of Richmond. In 1980, Cabell descendants purchased the house, and moved it to Goochland County.
The current 7,060-square-foot main residence on the farm was built in 1992 and the second residence, which Tranzon said can be sold separately, was built in 1972.
The historic Cabell Family Cemetery is located on a portion of the property, but is not included in the auction. The cemetery, which includes the graves of Colonel Cabell, his wife Margaret, their daughter Elizabeth, Patrick Henry, Jr., and many others in the family, is owned and maintained by Cabell Foundation, Inc. and the family has deeded access to it.
Terry said the current owner of the 464-acre farm, Orion Sporting Group, no longer has a need for the property. According to Matthew Peterson, manager for Orion Sporting Group, the company bought the land in 2003 to be used as a hunting and game preserve as well as a corporate training area.
“We are not currently using the facility as much anymore and the management team decided it was a good time to divest in the property,” Peterson said.
The property is up for an online, multiple parcel auction starting June 19 and ending June 26. Interested buyers can put in a bid for the 402-acre main property — which includes a pool, two houses, a barn, a six-acre stocked pond, a shooting range, a helicopter pad, and James River frontage — or can bid on smaller, separate parcels of Union Hill Farm. Smaller parcels include four, 10, 11, or 23 — acre sections. The four and 10 acre parcels are located at the Southwest corner of the farm and can be accessed from Norwood Road. The 10 and 23 acre parcels are located in the Northwest corner and can be accessed from Union Hill Creek Road. The entire 464 acres can also be bid on. Terry said Orion Sporting Group will ultimately decide which offer to accept when the auction closes on June 26.
“We are giving tours by appointment and for serious buyers we will be offering helicopter tours. It’s much easier to see that way,” Terry said.
The next available tour date is June 20 and is by appointment only.
Farm equipment will be auctioned separately and includes a John Deere tractor, tractor accessories, and Bobcat machines. Terry said the property holds many possibilities for future owners.
“They will have to research land use and zoning ordinances, but I think there are many possibilities here,” Terry said.
Erin Conway covers Nelson County for the News and Advance. Reach her at (434) 385-5524